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The government would like you to talk about your family's health history during Thanksgiving


If you're running out of ways to have awkward, stilted conversations during Thanksgiving, the acting Surgeon General of the United States has a new idea — talk about your family's health history.

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak said Monday that Thanksgiving would be the 11th annual Family Health History Day, which should be used by people to "talk about and keep a record of the health problems that seem to run in their families."

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Lushniak said only one third of Americans have tried to keep a family health history, and said taking this step might help people determine if they're at risk for various diseases.

The Obama administration has set up a website people can use to input information about their and their relatives' health history. The website includes modules that will let people determine if they are at risk for colorectal cancer and diabetes.

Lushniak said information that's inputted can be easily shared with relatives, and assured people that any information inputted into the website is not kept by the government.

"All information remains private," the Surgeon General's website said. "The federal website does not retain the information once the tool has been used to assemble it."

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